How to Get Rid of Sweet Ants

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Taking Names

The Sugar/Sweet Ant was first named by a Swedish Botanist Carl Linnaeus sometime in the mid 1700's. Linnaeus was fascinated with nature as a child and knew the basics of evolution and that concept of homeostasis in all living things; animal or plant long before he knew the word homeostasis!

He understood that there is a diversity and order to all creation and the more we understand of "natural method" or arranging plants and animals the more insight to God's biological creations. He said in an article for Philosophia Botanica, "If you do not know the names of things, the knowledge of them is lost too".

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Soldiers

So, if every living thing is part of God's "biological creation" and has a purpose, how do we explain ants? Ants-those relentless creatures that appear in droves marching as the model soldiers in single file line in multi-highway paths across your picnic tables and kitchen counters! These soldiers are dedicated to their mission of providing for their queen and sustaining the colony. Yes, I know, most of the time it seems their sole purpose is to any space within a 4 city block radius of any food source and are indestructible! Why is this and what do we do about it?

What method of ant control have you found effective?

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The Who, What, Where Of It All

When we think of the ant, we think of a tiny, black, antlered, 6 legged creature that scurries in a uniformed line with their comrades carrying off rations from your pantry! Truth is, most are orange and black but their color can change according to the climate of their surroundings. Their name, as you could guess comes from their love for sugar but they also consume nectar and dead animals. Ewh!

These ants usually build nests of dirt mounds in the ground but can also be found in plants, twigs and between rocks. They are found in urban, forest and woodland areas of North America.

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Fighting Ant Armies

Well, they say to win any fight, you must first understand your opponent. We have already covered a bit of background on this tiny invader of mass proportions! Now, how to win the war against the ant armies!

Do's & Don'ts

  • Do not leave food out on counters. Keep areas clean, free of food and sticky messes
  • Watch for entry source. Most will enter and exit through the same spot
  • Use clear tape to test suspect areas overnight. If more than 10 stick, that's the it!
  • Keep all food covered
  • Line cabinet edges and corners with strong smelling spices such as cinnamon or bay leaves to repel them
  • Do not use spray repellents. Why? They can spur a process called "budding" if sprayed near the nest. This process causes the ants to move the colony or even branch off the colony to multiple sight. Did I mention they are resilient?
  • Do not use kill methods that focus on the ant "soldiers" and not the "queen". This is a waste of time and money

Non-Poison, Natural Approach

Game Plan(s)

Best approaches to win the ant war!

  • Clean your work space. That means everything and everywhere an ant my be, mostly kitchens, countertops, windows and doorways
  • Observe where they are coming in and out
  • Give them something to drawn them to a central location (high sugar item like honey, sugar water)
  • Be patient and wait for them to get use to this food source
  • Bait & Switch (literally) switch food source of choice to ant attracting killer (most popular ones are sweet based such as Terro's bait; Borax has also shown very effective)
  • Be persistent with keeping area clean and leaving ample supply of bait until ALL ants are gone and no stragglers are seen
  • Windex remainders after you seen that the majority of them are gone. The ammonia in the cleaning solution kills on contact

References

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/06/linnaeus-name-giver/david-quammen-text/1

http://www.antssugar.com/

http://www.ehow.com/how_5057029_rid-sweet-ants.html

http://www.squidoo.com/do-it-yourself-sugar-ant-advice-from-a-pest-control-professional

© 2014 cammyshawn

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